Bible Studies

Afraid to Die, Suffer, LoosePremium Content

Psalm 23:4a RSV
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me.

There are very few Americans, believers included, who are simply (if they were honest enough to admit it) petrified to die. It's why "staying young" is a multi-billion dollar industry. Plastic surgery, health care, exercise clubs... even the insistence that 50 is now the new 40!

We are afraid to die.

But I was ready something this morning in Spurgeon that hit a note with me:

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Five Things We Must Do as Christians

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NRSV
Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

In the middle of the conclusion of Paul's letter, in between the "Timothy and Apollos may come to visit" and "Everyone here sends their love," Paul writes these short two sentences. Perhaps they should have been written at the beginning as the title for this letter (if letters had titles). Certainly, they are important not only because they summarize what Paul has been saying, but because they summarize the Christian life.

Here, Paul tells the church in Corinth to do four things:

  • Keep alert

Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Long Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Romans 7:18-20

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Waiting On The Lord

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 RSV
I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance." We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Be ImitatorsPremium Content

1 Corinthians 11:1 RSV
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Could you say this to another, younger Christian? Could you have a Christian live with you, observe you, watch you, and then trust, if they imitated you, that they would be imitating Christ?

I think that, initially, all of us want to say “yes,” but if we think about this much, if we really meditate on this, wouldn’t we more likely back off? Do we really live our lives in such a way that others can imitate us and know that, in doing so, they would be pursuing the narrow path?

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Rights or Self-denial?Premium Content

Read: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

We live in a society where one’s rights are paramount. Everyday there are accounts in the news of lawsuits or protests in favor of the rights of some oppressed person or group, demanding their rights as human beings, as citizens, as protected minorities. Unfortunately, this kind of this-is-my-right attitude has permeated the church as well. All kinds of people are pressing for changes (some good, many bad) within the various American denominations with the idea of protecting “human rights.” The question is . . . is this the Christian way?

"Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21 RSV

I think that sometimes we are so worried about our own rights, our own feelings, position, ambitions, that we fail to understand that—in the broad scheme of things (that being eternity)—what we gain or lose here in this life is very little compared to what we can gain or lose forever. The Lord Jesus taught this:

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Breaking the Old, Negative Grid SystemPremium Content

At MSN I can go to "maps" and, after clicking there, enter the address of my first home ever -- in Washington D.C., my hometown. Once I have a map of the city up, I can find Southeast by crossing the Anacostia River and then find Good Hope Road. Soon I am in my old neighborhood via the "birds eye" feature of MSN maps. I can zoom close -- so close it is very real. And there is the old neighborhood, seemingly unchanged after 50 years, as if time stood still.

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Set Free - Replacing the Old with the NewPremium Content

In searching for, and living in the truth that can set us free, the first thing we need to do is replace the old with the new. Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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Dealing with DebtPremium Content

Positive things you can do:

  1. Face your situation
  2. Set a Goal (make smaller goals in manageable steps to achieve it)
  3. Seek wise counsel
  4. Recognize that your choices matter and are significant
  5. Work Hard. Do not give up!
  6. Learn to be responsible
  7. Be committed to your family

Biblical principles of Money Management and Giving

You can learn more about these Biblical principles in Randy Alcorn's books:

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When We Willfully SinPremium Content

Hebrews 10:26-27 NKJV
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

Matthew Henry writes:

    From the description he gives of the sin of apostasy. It is sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, sinning willfully against that truth of which we have had convincing evidence. This text has been the occasion of great distress to some gracious souls; they have been ready to conclude that every willful sin, after conviction and against knowledge, is the unpardonable sin: but this has been their infirmity and error. The sin here mentioned is a total and final apostasy, when men with a full and fixed will and resolution despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour,—despise and resist the Spirit, the only sanctifier,—and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life; and all this after they have known, owned, and professed, the Christian religion, and continue to do so obstinately and maliciously. (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc6.Heb.xi.html)

Apostasy isn’t something that is talked about much these days. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I heard a preacher talk about the problems with apostasy and yet it is a circumstance

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